Graphic credit: Florida Gators creative media
When Billy Napier arrived in Gainesville, he made his plans for Florida football clear: Tear everything down and rebuild the Gators from scratch.
If Napier’s transparency throughout his first offseason in charge wasn’t enough to convince UF fans of that reality, his last two months as the program’s head coach certainly should.
Since the second half of November 2022, Florida completed its first repeat losing season in the SEC since the 1950s, saw 22 scholarship players enter the transfer portal, welcomed ten FBS transfers into the university after acquiring six last offseason and signed Napier’s first complete high school recruiting class, a haul including two or more signees at six different positions.
Florida football is going to look different in Napier’s second year at the helm, undoubtedly. Whether it will be improved or not remains to be seen, but the incoming transfers — the majority of them, at least — will be expected to push the Gators in the right direction sooner rather than later.
All Gators is projecting roles for every Florida transfer acquisition ahead of the 2023 season. Having covered quarterback Graham Mertz and running back Cameron Carroll already, now we’ll focus on the first of UF’s three offensive line portal additions this offseason, starting with Baylor guard transfer Micah Mazzccua.
Florida’s offseason got off to a rough start when it lost four of its five starting offensive linemen from 2022, with left tackle Richard Gouraige and right guard O’Cyrus Torrence entering the NFL Draft and both left guard Ethan White and right tackle Michael Tarquin transferring to Southern California.
The losses created panic. With Napier’s goal of rebuilding the roster in mind, it came as a surprise to see 80 percent of, arguably, the Gators’ best starting unit from his first season in charge leave the team — with 40 percent transferring to a new school rather than going pro.
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Enter the reinforcements: Mazzccua, former Alabama offensive tackle Damieon George Jr. and former Kentucky offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin. Of the trio, Mazzccua is certainly the most proven and should be locked into a starting role from the jump as a result.
Across the 2021-22 seasons, Mazzccua earned 898 snaps at left guard on Baylor’s offensive line and manned the starting role for 10 games during his third-year sophomore campaign this past year. He allowed just one sack and 14 quarterback pressures in that stretch and earned a run-blocking grade of 76.9 out of 100 as a first-teamer, according to Pro Football Focus.
The highest-graded start of his career, per PFF, came against Kansas in Week 8. Taking the field for 83 snaps in a 35-23 Bears victory, Mazzccua earned a run-blocking grade of 81.1 and allowed just one quarterback pressure across 31 pass-protection reps.
At 6-foot-5, 331 pounds, Mazzccua has consistently showcased impressive stamina within the Bears’ up-tempo offense. He was on the field for 70+ offensive snaps in six of 11 appearances for Baylor in 2022 with a high of 91 against Texas Tech in Week 9.
Considering his experience at the position, Mazzccua is a natural replacement for White at left guard.
Like Torrence, who transferred to Florida from Louisiana a year ago to play the right interior spot, Mazzccua will immediately be viewed as an impact player on UF’s line, while George and Goodwin are likely to compete for a role at tackle opposite 2022 Freshman All-American Austin Barber or potentially pick up new positions in order to put the five best linemen on the field.
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